An SP in bioethics can focus on an ethics issue in research with human subjects, clinical medicine, or health care policy. Examples of bioethics topics in each domain include: supporting ethical standards for research in developing countries, the role of surrogates and advance directives in health care decision-making, and disparities by ethnicity and geography in the allocation of solid organs for transplant.
The Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics, under the direction of Tia Powell, MD, is a major resource for students interested in a bioethics-focused SP. The Center runs one of the oldest and highest volume bioethics consultation services in the country, sponsors a Master of Science in Bioethics, and supports the Bioethics Committee, which drafts and reviews bioethics policy, among other activities. The Center offers a summer internship that has included both Einstein medical students and undergraduates selected from a nationally competitive pool of applicants; by special arrangement, a supervised elective may be possible at other times of the year. Selected students participate in Center projects and also receive supervision for their own research.
To date students have assisted in a wide range of Center projects, including review of the bioethics consultation database, curriculum development for courses in the bioethics master’s program, and reviewing and cataloguing articles for national guidelines for public health disaster response. Recent Einstein students have pursued supervised bioethics research on the ethics of sex selection, capacity to provide consent, Jewish bioethics, and practices for transgender individuals in developing nations.